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Egypt expanding rail network to link with Sudan, Libya

The Egyptian government is seeking to expand its network of trains within the framework of a giant project aimed at reaching new geographical areas, and linking the country with neighboring Libya and Sudan.

Egyptian Transport Minister Kamel el-Wazir announced that Egypt will launch an electric rail line, worth EGP360 million, to connect all governorates together and also link the country with Libya and Sudan.

Kamel said in a TV statement that the speed of the electric train would be 250 kilometers per hour and it is part of the multiple-line network, adding that all Egyptian ports, industrial zones, and the new capital should be connected through this high-speed train network.

The railway extends over approximately 9,570 kilometers, according to official data.

The Ministry of Transport says it is implementing a plan to urgently repair and rehabilitate existing railway lines, hoping to serve 500 million passengers annually.

The project faced criticism after government announcements were inconsistent with that of the company implementing the plans regarding the length of the railway lines.

The minister noted that the initial project was planned to be outside October 6 City, but the plans were changed because the main goal is to serve the Egyptians.

The first rail line would run from Ain Sokhna on the Red Sea to New Alamein on the Mediterranean coast, passing through the new capital in the east of Cairo.

The Minister indicated that it will be developed to link three points: Gargoub port, Siwa, and Salloum which will be extended till Benghazi in Libya.

Another express rail link should be established between October City in Giza and the Upper Egyptian cities of Luxor and Aswan, Wazir further said.

It will continue to Wadi Halfa in Sudan, in order to maximize the transportation network in Egypt, increase its quality, and connect it with neighboring countries.

The project is expected to be completed within two years, the minister said, adding that the total expenses of the project will be paid over 20 years.

Source: Asharq Al-Awsat

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